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Chicken Adobo with Fried Rice
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Recipe courtesy of Cliff Crooks and Anne Burrell

Chicken Adobo with Filipino Fried Rice and Charred Japanese Eggplant

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 1 hr
  • Active: 1 hr
  • Yield: 2 servings
Classic Filipino garlic fried rice and chicken adobo make a perfect pair. The fried rice is a great accompaniment to many other dishes, including eggs for breakfast. The charred eggplant is a riff on ensaladang talong (roasted eggplant salad).


Chicken Adobo:

Charred Eggplant:

Fried Rice:


  1. For the chicken: Heat a large, high-sided pan over medium-high heat. Add the black peppercorns and toast for 2 to 3 minutes until fragrant, shaking the pan to evenly distribute. Transfer to a spice grinder and grind. Add 3 tablespoons of the canola oil to the pan and heat over medium-high heat until shimmering. Pat the chicken dry and season liberally with kosher salt. Reduce the heat to medium. Place the chicken into the pan skin-side down and sear without moving the chicken until the skin pulls away from the bottom of the pan and begins to brown, 7 to 8 minutes. Flip the chicken and cook until browned on the other side, another 5 minutes. Remove the chicken from the pan. Discard the excess cooking oil and add the remaining 2 tablespoons of canola oil to the pan.
  2. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, 5 minutes. Add the soy sauce, vinegar, palm sugar, garlic, bay leaves, ground black pepper and 1/2 cup water. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and add the chicken back to the pan. Cover and cook until an instant-read thermometer registers 160 degrees F when inserted into the center of the chicken, 15 minutes. Remove the chicken and allow to rest. Continue to cook the sauce, uncovered, until thickened and reduced, 5 minutes.
  3. For the charred eggplant: Add the white vinegar, sugar and bay leaf to a small saucepan. Heat over medium high and bring to a simmer for 2 minutes. Stir to dissolve the sugar, then turn off the heat and set aside.
  4. Preheat a grill pan to high heat. Brush the inside of the Japanese eggplants with olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt and black pepper. Place the eggplants on the grill pan, flesh-side down, and grill until slightly charred and there are grill marks on the underside, 3 to 4 minutes. Flip, then grill another 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the eggplants to a cutting board and slice on the bias into 2-inch pieces. Add the eggplant to a bowl with the onions and tomatoes. Pour the pickling liquid over the vegetables and toss to combine.
  5. For the fried rice: Heat the canola oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the butter and swirl the pan to melt. Add the garlic and annatto powder and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant and the garlic starts to lightly brown, 2 minutes. Add the cooked rice and toss to combine, making sure the rice is fully coated with the garlic and annatto mixture. Cook the rice, stirring occasionally, until it starts to get crispy, 5 minutes.
  6. To serve, place a chicken leg and thigh onto each plate, spoon the sauce around the chicken and garnish with the sliced scallions. Serve with the fried rice and charred pickled eggplant. Drizzle the eggplant with a little olive oil.